Husband, Wife Deployed at Separate Times - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/16/03

Husband, Wife Deployed at Separate Times

Saddam Hussein's in US captivity, but so far, the former Iraqi leader isn't talking. And while he's being interrogated, more US troops are coming under attack. American soldiers patrolling near Tikrit were stopped in their tracks by a roadside bomb.

In Samara, coalition forces were ambushed by more Saddam loyalists, but this time, they managed to kill eleven of their attackers before any US soldiers were hurt.

US Officials say documents found on Hussein have led to an arrest of another top Iraqi leader, but they say they don't expect the violence to end overseas any time soon. Even with the Iraqi dictator in custody, there has been no talk of when American troops might be returning from service overseas.

And during the holiday season, deployments such as these make it extra hard for families here at home. We spoke to one family member whose loved one is currently deployed with the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air Guard. TSgt. Monte Cook and his wife Gail are both members of the 165th and they're used to spending time away from one another, but even as Saddam remains in custody, it doesn't make it any easier for Monte knowing his wife is still in harm's way.

"It's a little different with her being there," he said. "I much rather it was me there and her here."

After just spending five months overseas himself, knowing he has to spend this holiday season without her makes life at home a little difficult. "I didn't originally think it would make much difference and we don't celebrate Christmas in a big way but, yeah, it's kind of a downer, but that's part of it," he said.

The other part of being in the 165th is knowing that the job is far from over, even though the Iraqi dictator is no longer a threat. "I don't think that's going to have a lot of bearing on what we're doing right now," the Col. Tom Moore of the 165th said. "I don't see a smaller presence in the future until things start getting cleaned up over there."

All though Col. Moore says he expects the 165th to be deactivated in about a year's time, airmen like TSgt. Cook can only hope Saddam's absence in the Middle East will make it a little more safe for his wife. "I hope it makes a difference, you know, just being away from your wife is not fun in the first place, but it's, I'd like to think it's going to bet better now."

Even though TSgt. Cook's wife is scheduled to come home next month, he's scheduled to be redeployed next month. He hopes they can see each other in the passing.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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